Dost Summer Retreat, 2022

Jhanvi Kotak
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August 24, 2022

Imagine waking up, stepping out of your room, and getting greeted by the ocean. Sounds like a dream, doesn't it? That's how I felt waking up in Goa. Our resort was located on the Baga river, with the mighty ocean in sight. I remember watching this view for the first time and saying, "I can't get enough of this." And true enough, I came back days ago but can't stop fantasizing about going back!

Adding to the beauty of Goa was our Dream Team. One of the downsides of working fully remote is you miss out on some interactions with your co-workers that cannot be recreated virtually. The loss feels greater when you work with a fantastic bunch of people. This retreat was a chance for everyone to get to know each other better and strengthen our bond. From the start, it didn't feel like we had met after a long time, and conversations flew naturally. Our rooms were near each other, and it felt like we were neighbors.

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On the agenda for the retreat, we had non-work team sessions. Each session was carefully designed to enable team building. On one of the days, we had an activity where we had to share 3 things we felt vulnerable about. Initially, there was some reluctance, but as people opened up slowly, everyone started feeling much more comfortable. This gave us an insight into each other's world, which helped us connect better.

Similarly, some activities reignited the play within us. We played games like guess who, improvisation, drawing games, and some childhood games like chiddiya udd. On our last day, we had a session where we had to share what we admired about each other. I don't think there could have been a better way to end the retreat.

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We also had plenty of Rest and Relaxation time on the agenda when everyone was free to do what they wanted. The best thing for me was that even during this time, people chose to be with each other. While some people chilled in the resort, some went for a stroll on the beach, and others went to the nearest tapri for chai and Maggi. We also made the best use of the pool and the jacuzzi!

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After all the sessions were concluded, we went out for a whole team dinner. There was something in the air; I don't know if it was the weather or the sweet melancholy that came with the realization that it was our last day. Slowly, we started singing….. even the ride back to the resort couldn't break this vibe, and we all met again on the balcony of someone's room and continued our musical jam. I think the only reason we stopped was that we had flights the following day.

The day we had to leave sadly arrived. While some people left early morning, some decided to stay back in Goa. I came back to Delhi, but not without a box full of memories, a phone full of pictures, and a heart filled with love and warmth. I felt so grateful to work where I do and be around people who care for and support each other. So until we all meet next time, the Goa high will keep me going!

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